Foreign Minister admits Maldives' ties with India weakened after GMR dispute
Male, Jan.29: Maldives Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdulla has admitted that relations between India and Maldives have deteriorated following the premature cancellation of the GMR airport development contract.
Samad's comments came after the Maldivians were left struggling to obtain Indian visas following a clamp down by Indian authorities, shortly after GMR was ousted from the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.
Speaking at the parliament's Government Accountability Committee, Samad was reported by local media as saying that despite official assurances that ties between Maldives and India remained unaffected, "the ground reality is to the contrary".
"Maldives and India has long existing close ties. But the recent tensions especially the GMR spat has affected the relations even though both sides have not said so officially.
"After these things surfaced we have been anticipating the backlash. I don't want anything unexpected to come to pass that causes difficulties for Maldivians. We are working in two ways. One is to repair the damage done to the relations and come to a mutual agreement on certain things," Samad was quoted as saying in local newspaper Haveeru.
Minivan News quoted State Foreign Minister Hassan Saeed, as saying that during the weekly sit-downs with the Indian High Commission in the Maldives, unilateral actions on the part of Maldives were constantly highlighted.